I really had no expectations for this film. From the marketing, it looked really cheesy. I'm also not a huge fan of shark movies, since they are almost always formulaic. I can't say that I was disappointed by this film, but it didn't exceed my expectations, either.
The plot of the film was just as formulaic and cheesy as I had expected. There were points during which it seemed like the film was about to go in a more unique way, but it never did. It was just a simple survivor film. There also wasn't very much character development. In fact, my favorite character in the movie was Steven Seagull (yes, it is a pun), that was a non-anthropomorphic character. We know very little about the protagonist other than that she is on the run from her problems (including a recent loss) and that she is stranded and stalked by a shark in the ocean. For some people, that is enough, and it met the bare minimum for me, but I wanted to know the character more. The ending is also ridiculously cheesy and rushed, however, I will not describe it to avoid spoilers.
I had heard good things about the cinematography of this film, but I thought that it was really lackluster. The beginning is filled with excessive slow-motion surfing scenes that, frankly, aren't very exciting, and unnecessarily close shots trying to show off the main actress's body. When the suspense starts, the cinematography isn't horrible, but there isn't anything special about it. The score of the film is also quite generic.
The only thing that I really liked about this movie was Blake Lively's performance. She gave a really believable performance and made a lot out of a script that wasn't that great. Other than sympathy for the fact that the character is in mortal danger, her performance was the only thing that was really effective in making me care for the character, since I thought that the character was so underdeveloped.
Overall, "The Shallows" isn't horrible, and it has a good performance by Blake Lively, but it was really unoriginal. On my way out of the theater, the attendant asked me if I liked the movie, and when I told her that I didn't really enjoy it, she was surprised, saying that I was the first person that she had heard that from. This shows that people may really like this film if you don't mind the unoriginal nature of the film, however, it just didn't really resonate with me.
Big Tuna's Rating: C-
How Did I Watch It?: In theaters.
Had I Seen It Before?: No.
Would I Watch It Again?: No.
I am a huge movie fan that wants to tell people about my very varying taste and opinion of film.